The Flow Begins

Ice Leaving Area Streams

Over the past week or so, the ice has melted on some areas of the Bighill Creek, exposing good flow from the first signs of a spring thaw. Other areas of the stream channel are still covered in a dirty layer of ice, from a winter’s worth of dust and dirt contaminating the surface ice. This is especially evident in the Town of Cochrane, where dust from development is quite common. This dirty surface on the ice will speed up the melt, absorbing the sun’s heat on bright days to come.

There is still plenty of ice yet to thaw this spring. Where stream flow thru east/west deep valleys, the snow and ice will take longer to thaw. This is good for the streams, having plenty of water late into the spring months.

The stream banks are still rock hard with ice and it will be another month or longer, before the frost leaves the creek’s banks. I will be anxiously waiting for this thaw. Once the ground along the streams is soft, we can get at the spring willow and tree planting program. There are lots of native plants for some area streams this year and I can’t wait to get them in the ground, as early as possible, later on in the spring.

Hopefully, there will be time in the evenings to cast a fly line this spring. It has been a long winter and I didn’t get out to winter fish the Bow this year. I am thinking of a few brown trout streams to the north, and it has been a while since I visited some of them. Maybe an early spring worm pattern, fished on the drift will entice a large lethargic brown trout to dine on my fly pattern. Early spring is a great time to catch a monster.

Worm patterns are easy to tie and very effective when fished as a drifting wet fly, like you fish a nymph pattern. I have know some fly fishers that use a worm on a regular basis, and they always report great catches. Streams like the Dogpound, Raven and so on, are good locations to fish a worm. These streams have soiled streambanks that are heavily populated with earth worms. I have catch trout that have a large ball of worms in their throats. This is noticeable when you are removing the fly hook, and sometimes the trout are stuffed with earth worms.

Spring Willow and Tree Planting Update

As previously mentioned, we have a total of 9,300 native plants to plant this spring. Now, it looks like there will be a few hundred extras to add into the program. I will update you this next month, with the grand total. The plants are already growing and with the planting start date this next month, we should have some well advanced stage one plants for planting. This will be another great season for the “Bow Valley Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program”.

Another school group is interested in joining in for this planting season. The Airdrie high school will be participating this May and we have already booked a date for a planting on Nose Creek, in the City of Airdrie. I will give you more details, later on this month.